When Stakes are High

 10 Jun 2014

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in a top casino’s most exclusive suites and its most private of gaming rooms – no-one’s telling – and, if you ever want to find out, you have little option but to wager some serious currency of your own.
Taking a privileged peek inside Sydney’s The Star however – at the most plush and exclusive suites and gaming rooms it has to offer – is to discover no expense has been spared keeping its top clientele happy. Here local and international players can chance their deep pockets in the private high roller rooms and retire – once they’re weary of the cards and the roulette wheel – to the sort of luxuriously appointed accommodation that people wagering the big money expect from an international casino.
Cashed-up high rollers are provided their own butler and wager big money in the private gaming salons adjoining the luxuriously-appointed suites at Sydney’s casino, The Star.
The high rollers’ facilities were created as part of a refurbishment which The Star (formerly Star City) began in 2009. The total works reportedly cost just under $1 billion and include a new entrance re-orientated to face the city.
The extensive new works, designed by architects the Buchan Group and Fitzpatrick+Partners include a new glazed front door to the casino, an event centre and adjacement entertainment venue, enhanced gaming rooms, a new 171-room five-star hotel – The Darling – and new private high roller rooms.
You can’t walk in off the street and play the roulette wheel at The Star’s private high rollers rooms. The space is restricted to a select few with bank balances big enough. Identities are jealously guarded, bets range between $100 and $500,000 and guests have to apply for membership, which are then reviewed by The Star’s management.
High rollers have their own 24-hour butler and can stay in any one of The Star’s five penthouse suites (each with two bedrooms) in its new luxury hotel, The Darling. The interiors of The Darling are the work of DBI Design and exude international glamour and high-end luxury.

Here four of the penthouses interconnect to “an adjoining private gaming salon” reveals Sean Henchy, Butler Operations Manager, VIP Service at Echo Entertainment, which runs the facility.
“We provide private gaming tables and bars in a exclusive private setting known as Private Gaming Salons,” says Henchy. An additional ten suites are located in the Astral tower, The Star’s other hotel. “Six of these are two-storey, six of these are two bedroom and four are single bedroom,” he says.
“We want to ensure the fastest service to our guests and the Zip HydroTap is an essential tool for delivering this.”
Facilities in suites include steam rooms and one penthouse boasts its own karaoke room. There are marble floors, espresso machines, and all the furniture – including the dining tables, beds and lounges – are custom-made, and bed linen has a 1000-thread count. The pillows are also made exclusively for the hotel and a Zip HydroTap is provided on each of the suites sinks and those in the private gaming salon.
“Our service is delivered by a team of professional butlers to ensure a personalised, professionalised and smooth service,” says Henchy, “A Zip HydroTap is essential to providing instant boiling and chilled water.” Boiling a conventional kettle can take seven minutes and these are precious minutes that “we, as service providers do not have,” he adds.
The call for immediate refreshment, in such a high stakes environment, is a constant and pressing need.
“We want to ensure the fastest service to our guests,” says Henchy, and the Zip HydropTap “is an essential tool for delivering this service when preparing a large selection of Chinese and traditional teas.”
So there you have it: it’s not shaken-and-not- stirred Martinis – but tea – that’s the refreshment in highest demand in the upper echelons of the contemporary luxury casino.
"Article taken from Boiling Point issue no. 22, published by the Indesign Media Asia Pacific. Words by Guy Allenby, Photography by Tyrone Branigan, Architects by Buchan Group, Fitzpatrick+Partners, Interior Designers by DBI Design"